Frequently Asked Questions
Are the products used dangerous to children and pets?
Safety is our top priority. All of our service professionals have been trained on the proper application of materials to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your family and pets. All professional pest control products we use have been registered for use by the United States EPA.
Indoor applications generally do not require any special actions. We do not do "baseboard spraying". All pesticides are applied well away from children and pets in places such as cracks and crevices, behind heavy appliances, behind switch plates, etc. where insects hide and breed.
What are five things I can do outside of my house to keep pests away?
- Inspect and seal any cracks and holes outside your home. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
- Check around the perimeter of your home for leaky faucets and anything that allows moisture to pool around the base of your home. Make sure sprinklers are facing away from the structure and aren't spraying water directly on to the building.
- Eliminate debris from gutters.
- Trim tree branches and shrubbery around your home, especially if they are touching the building.
- Store firewood and other wood at least 20 feet away from your home.
What are five things I can do inside my house to keep pests away?
- Keep all kitchen areas clean (including floors) and free of useless clutter. Kitchen appliances should be kept free of spills and crumbs. Clean shelves regularly and store foods such as cereal, flour, and dog food in airtight containers.
- Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be stored in sealed containers and disposed of regularly.
- Check pipes and pipe areas around the house for leaks, cracks and gaps and seal and patch any problems if necessary. Leaky faucets should also be fixed.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. If you have mold and mildew in your home or office crawlspace, it's a symptom of an excess moisture problem.
- Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging you bring into your home thoroughly. Insects have also been known to come in on potted plants and in luggage.
Can pests other than termites damage property?
Absolutely. Carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder post beetles are all categorized as wood destroying insects. That's why it's important to have a professional identify the source of your problem and provide the most effective treatment to control it.
How do you treat for Cockroaches?
Cockroaches have long been one of the most common household pests in our area. We've developed years of expertise in solving cockroach problems. Our control strategy depends upon the species of cockroach, which is why inspection and identification is an important first step. Upon identification of the species and analysis of the situation, a strategy is developed. Payne Pest Management technicians utilize baits, carefully placed out of reach of children and pets, to eliminate cockroach populations. In other situations, insect growth regulators, which inhibit the ability of the cockroach to molt and grow, are used in combination with other methods. Additionally, we provide information to clients about the ways that they can minimize pest immigration and avoid providing harborage for pest populations. So you see, cockroach control is really best achieved through a combination of techniques - an "integrated" approach to pest management.
Does Payne Pest Management have a service to control mice?
The house mouse is one of the most common pests triggering a call to Payne Pest Management. They are best dealt with using an integrated approach including exclusion, sanitation, and population reduction. Usually traps are employed to eliminate mice living inside buildings, but rodenticide baits occasionally have some utility as well. Each account should be inspected and assessed for the best approach to use at each home/building.
How long do I have to stay out of the house?
The short answer (for a general pest service) is, "until the material dries." But for many types of services (rats, mice and ant problems) you can return immediately. For flea treatments and flea control, we require that you remain out of the home for about four or five hours, or until our products have dried. For outside treatments, we ask that people and pets stay out of the yard for three to four hours. Once dry, the products are no longer readily absorbed by hands and paws.
Where are these bugs coming from? I keep a clean house.
Sometimes it's tough to remember that the bugs aren't doing this just to drive us crazy. Most bugs only come inside when the outside becomes less hospitable. During the summer, the heat dries up the ground and forces ants inside to search for new sources of moisture. They love your kitchen for the condensation on its plumbing almost as much as they like finding a drop of syrup. Tighten up leaky faucets. Seal gaps in plumbed fixtures. Create a barrier around your living space that makes the ants seek refuge at your neighbor's. During the winter, rats and mice find that many of their preferred food sources are hibernating or dead. They also encounter the added displeasure of having to live in soggy burrows. The cold sends many rodents inside to search for food, nest materials, and warmth. Seal up all gaps greater than 1/4″. Roaches are generally imported from the grocery store, or within cardboard boxes. Avoid the storage of brown paper sacks and cardboard. (When was the last time you checked the weather stripping around doors?)
What are the noises I hear in my attic?
Most likely, "rats." Roof rats are amazing acrobats and climbers. Your attic provides all the promise of a Club Med to a rat: seclusion, raw materials like insulation for nesting, warmth, and easy access to a food source – the part of the home where you live. Check your roof for low hanging branches and unscreened ventilation holes. By placing screens over vents you will also protects yourself against the immigration of birds, bees, and vertebrate mammals like opossums and skunks.
When can I expect to see results from your service?
It depends on what we're treating for. The results can sometimes be immediate or in some cases (such as rodents, roaches or ants it can take a little longer). A proper pest service always begins with an inspection. For ants, we seek out the nest, generally outside of the home. We then eliminate the nest, and perform a thorough treatment on the interior or other areas as needed. With our maintenance programs, if you ever have a problem between regular services, all you need to do is call us and we'll send someone out A.S.A.P. to take care of the problem – at no additional charge.
How can you control pests inside my home if you only service outside?
After we've eliminated any problems inside your home, we focus our attention outside to address areas where pests can gain entry or where they might find food or water sources. After those access points are eliminated, we create a barrier of protection. By keeping pests outside, we eliminate or reduce the need to go back inside your home.
Why should I hire a professional Pest Management Company?
Pest management professionals are educated, trained and licensed to handle the specific pest issues that you will encounter in and around your home. Payne Pest Management's professionals are trained in the safe handling and proper application of materials used to eliminate or prevent pests. Some general guidelines for choosing a pest management company are:
- Look for a reputable company with knowledgeable and professional representatives and a great image.
- Ask friends and associatesa to recommend companies they use or have used.
- Look for members of state and national industry associations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information.
- Be certain the company is licensed by your state's regulatory agency.
Why do I need to have my home inspected before you can give me a price?
No two homes or pest problems are exactly alike and neither are their treatments. That's why we thoroughly inspect your home – inside and outside. We then design a program customized for your situation.
What are the health risks associated with common pests?
Pests can transmit a number of potentially serious diseases, illnesses and allergies.
Cockroaches: Asthma, allergies, and food poisoning
Ticks: Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Fleas: Dermatitis, murine typhus and bubonic plague
Rodents: Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome, murine typhus, salmonella and rat-bite fever
Mosquitoes: West Nile Virus, encephalitis, malaria
Bees/Wasps/Yellowjackets: Severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock
To find out more about diseases related to pests, please visit the Center for Disease Control at cdc.gov
My current provider has been spraying my facility for a pest problem, but the bugs keep coming back. What's the problem?
Effective pest control involves much more than just applying pesticide. To combat any pest problem it is critical to do a comprehensive inspection of the facility to correctly identify the pest, locate harborage areas and to identify possible entry points. All potential pest-entry points should be sealed. Pesticides should be used only as needed and when targeting a specific pest species. Using pesticides improperly may even cause pest infestations to worsen. For best results, you may want to consult another professional pest control company to take advantage of their knowledge and training to combat pest problems. Payne Pest Management offers free consultations.
How does Payne Pest Management's service differ from commercial pest management programs offered by other companies?
Many companies offer a cookie cutter approach to pest management - applying the same programs to every kind of home/business. Payne Pest Management recognizes that every home, industry and business is unique in its pest control needs, and the methods used to exclude or eliminate pests must be customized to each environment.
How does Payne Pest Management help prevent pests?
In addition to an intensive training program for our Pest Specialists, Payne Pest Management uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to help control pests.
What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is an environmentally responsible approach to pest management that takes advantage of all pest management options. At the most basic level, IPM practitioners recognize that pests seek habitats that provide their essential needs for survival, such as food, water and shelter. By removing some of these basic elements, or by blocking access to them, IPM programs can impose a significant degree of control over pests before chemical pesticides are employed.
If I have a pest problem between my regularly scheduled service call, how quickly will a Payne Pest Management Pest Specialist arrive?
With Payne Pest Management service, you'll have access to not only your local office number but our technician's cell phone number as well. In the event of a pest sighting, we can respond to the problem within 24 hours of your call.
Are re-treatments included?
Yes, as long as the account is current and the service schedule is uninterrupted, re-treatments for covered pest problems are done at no charge. See the service agreement for covered pest and other problems.
Do you use "toxic" chemicals in or around my home?
We use only EPA registered pesticides that are labeled for use in and around homes. We also use the least toxic pesticide that is available to control the targeted pest and apply it according to label directions.
Do you offer any "green" pest control options?
Yes! We offer natural, chemical-free options and low-toxic solutions for the customer to choose from when developing an individual pest management program. The treatment plan of pest control measures designed to reduce or eliminate pests while minimizing customer concerns regarding chemicals may include repair or exclusion work, improvements in sanitation, interior/exterior baiting, harborage reduction, habitat modification, and alternative controls. Many of the options are eco-exempt and organic including granules, botanicals, insecticidal soaps and more.
Are Payne Pest Management technicians licensed? How can I recognize a Payne Pest Management technician?
All of our technicians are licensed through the Structural Pest Control Board. This license requires ongoing continuing education, a livescan background check and a demonstration of knowledge of pest biology, pesticide safety, rules and regulations, and proper sanitation. You can identify and recognize a Payne Pest Management technician by their uniform with name tag.
What areas do you service?
Payne Pest Management services San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Do you require a long-term contract?
No, we do not require a long-term contract. We offer one time, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly service plans. We feel that if you are benefiting from our maintenance service that you will remain an active customer. You can cancel service with 30 days notice.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. You can also pay by phone, or by mail. Your check is always welcome as well!
Is there anything I need to do to my home prior to Pest Control treatment?
Your technician will advise you to remove pet food, water dishes, exposed food items, and children's toys from areas he/she needs to treat. If there are active pests indoors, other items may need attention.
I have a bug and I don't know what it is. Can you help me?
Sure! Save the bug in a storage bag or container and contact us. Our technicians can usually identify a bug by asking you a few questions about where you found it, size, color, general shape and by taking a look at it. Occasionally, we will use an Entomologist to identify the less common bugs.
Do I have to empty my cupboards before the interior of my house is sprayed or treated?
Sometimes, depending on the pest and the type of treatment. For German Cockroaches it is necessary to remove all the food and dishes to allow us to get access to every cockroach hiding place we can find.
Help! I have bed bugs. Can you get rid of them?
Yes, but be prepared for a major effort. Bedbugs are perhaps the most difficult pests we face. Please call us to discuss your problem and the solution.
Does Payne Pest Management treat for gophers, ground squirrels and moles in my lawn?
Yes, we do. Payne Pest Management technicians also have their Qualified Applicator License (QAL) which allows them to treat in landscaped areas around your yard.
Can you help get rid of rats or other rodents?
Absolutely. All of our technicians have years of rodent control experience. Rodent proofing services are also available. Please fight the temptation to toss "De-con" bait around, as this will often lead to dead animal odors and flies, and, frequently, no easy solution to locate or remove the animal. Trapping and exclusion are the best first steps in most rodent problems.
How often do I need a termite inspection at my home?
Every year! Southern California is one of the few spots in the United States that have both Drywood and Subterranean Termites, so annual inspections are crucial.
What is the difference between a limited and a full inspection?
In a full inspection, we inspect all the structure that we can access without damaging, defacing, or moving anything. Inaccessible parts of the structure are noted on the report. A limited inspection is generally one particular area where the homeowner suspects damage, and is useful only for identification and estimate purposes. It is always recommended to have a complete inspection on your property once a year.
Our neighbors have termites. Will I get them in my house too?
Sooner or later almost every home in our area eventually gets attacked by termites. Subterranean and Drywood termites all occur in Southern California. Subterranean termites nest in the soil, and can be prevented by applying a termiticide to the soil around the foundation of the home. Drywood termites enter directly into wood and have no requirement for soil contact and are treated by fumigation or another localized treatment.
What about Orange oil?
Orange oil is not new to the termite industry. It's been on the market for almost 20 years, but has only recently been marketed as the 'wonder drug' for termites. Recent studies by University of California researchers show that in ideal laboratory situations, the termite mortality rate for orange oil was only 77%. It only takes 2 termites to restart a colony, so imagine how vulnerable your home or business would be if nearly ¼ of the colony is still active? If orange oil worked as advertised by some companies, wouldn't every company in the termite industry be using it for all their Drywood termite treatments?
Our neighbor's house is being fumigated. Is this dangerous to me?
Fumigators take great pains to avoid any of the fumigant getting confined in nearby buildings. Measurements with a sensitive gas monitoring device show that the gas dissipates very rapidly when not confined under the tarp. In addition, the warning agent "Chloropicrin" (tear gas) is introduced to the structure being fumigated to help determine if any improvements to the seal of the tarp is needed. Tear gas is intolerable well below levels that are toxic. While highly lethal at levels under the tarp, the fumigant Vikane® leaves no residue behind after the proper aeration of the structure.
How long do I need to be out of the house for fumigation?
Typically 3 days.
What do I need to take out of the house before fumigation?
Remove anything alive (Pets, plants, people!), as well as unprotected foods and medicines not in airtight bags. Canned goods and unopened glass or plastic bottles are fine. You will be given an "Occupants Fumigation Notice" listing all the things that you should remove or double bag. In addition to this your Payne Pest Management representative will go over with you one on one with how to prepare for a fumigation.
Will I need to wash all of my dishes after fumigation?
No! The gas (Vikane) leaves no residue on dishes, furniture, clothing, or anything else in the home. The gas dissipates quickly, and fumigators use sensitive equipment to "clear" the structure for re-occupancy. When you return home, no gas remains, and secondary locks and warning signs will have been removed.
Will my fumigation kill other pests in my house?
A fumigation will kill most pests in your home. However, Vikane is labeled for insects, other than Drywood Termites, but each insect requires a different dosage of Vikane. Depending on what the target insect is that we are fumigating for, will determine which insect is eradicated.
For how long will fumigation kill termites and protect my home?
Fumigation kills the termites presently in your home. Payne Pest Management offers a lifetime renewable warranty. After your initial one year warranty it can be renewed on an annual basis for the lifetime of the structure. If your home qualifies, it may also include a damage replacement warranty as well, where if any new termite damage occurs while on our warranty plan, we may remove and replace the damaged wood member at no additional cost to you.